The Latin American and Caribbean Historical Ecology Seminars (LACHES) highlight a diverse research field characterized by an ambition to link knowledge about the past to present-day challenges by contributing to debates in natural resource and environmental management, deepening our understanding of resilience and vulnerability, and informing pathways to economic, ecological, and societal sustainability.
6 June 16-18 Elizabeth Graham, Institute of Archaeology, University College London, The Waste of Time and Soil Security. https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/63767034974 Register and get the passcode by sending an email to email@example.com
Graham has been interested in the long-term impact of human occupation on the environment since her early coastal research in Belize in 1975. In keeping with the LACHES ‘historical ecology’ theme, one of her first publications on long-term human impact was in William Baleé’s 1998 edited volume, Advances in Historical Ecology. In more recent research at Marco Gonzalez on Ambergris Caye in Belize, through a project funded by the Leverhulme Trust (2013-16), she and her team have been able to show that modern-day surface and sub-surface soils owe organic and inorganic components to the remains of activities of people who lived in the past, from as early as 600 B.C. to the 20th century. At the site of Lamanai, on the Belize mainland, evidence goes back to 1,600 B.C. Both sites show that where dense populations have lived for hundreds of years, impact is evidenced not in degradation but in soil thickening and nutrient enhancement. In this seminar, Graham will share ideas on the role of the decomposition of the urban and peri-urban built environments in soil formation; on why thinking about waste is more important than thinking about recycling; on the limitations of the Circular Economy; and on how a combination of archaeology and soil science can improve soil security.
Biosketch: Elizabeth Graham received her B.A. degree from the University of Rhode Island, and her Ph.D. from Cambridge University. She is presently Professor of Mesoamerican Archaeology at the UCL Institute of Archaeology, where she has been on staff since 1999. Prior to UCL, she was Assistant and then Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at York University, Ontario, Canada. She has carried out field research in Belize since 1973. From 1977 to 1979 she served as Belize’s Archaeological Commissioner. Her research interests, in addition to soils and environmental impact, include coastal archaeology, the Spanish Colonial period, the role of commercial interests in the Maya collapse, and the deconstruction of the concept of ‘human sacrifice’.
4th of April William Balée, Professor of Anthropology Tulane University, Landscape Transformation and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) in the Neotropics
Since the 1998 publication of William Balée’s edited seminal volume Advances in Historical Ecology, historical ecological research in Latin America and the Caribbean has examined complex socio-ecological interactions and historical trajectories in a wide variety of landscapes. This body of research evidences the development of a diversified field, with new methodological toolboxes and conceptual frameworks emerging to further advance the potential of historical ecological research to detail human behaviors and their planned and unintentional socio-ecological consequences, as well as broadened its critical scope.¨In this seminar on Landscape Transformation and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) in the Neotropics Bill Balée summarises some of his work on the neotropics. click on the link below to join the filmed seminar.
Register and get the passcode by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The seminar series held the 1st Monday of every 2nd month is sponsored by IHOPE (ihopenet.org) and organized by a planning committee of scholars in Bolivia (Universidad Mayor de San Andrés), Brazil (Universidade de São Paulo), and Sweden (University of Gothenburg and Uppsala University). Drawing on case studies as starting point, these open seminars (in English, Spanish, or Portuguese) will discuss practical challenges and opportunities of historical ecological research, with particular reference to inclusive transdisciplinary research, actionable science, and informing policy.